'We Will Not Be Intimidated': Organizers Announce Women's March Against NRA
In response to hostile videos by gun lobby group, progressive activists announce march in nation's capitol for next week
Organizers of the Women's March on Washington—which took place the day after Donald Trump's inauguration and inspired solidarity marches in hundreds of cities across the globe—are planning a protest against the National Rifle Association for July 14, in response to a video published to the NRA's Facebook page last month.
This time around, the two-day 18-mile march will begin Friday at NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, and culminate with a rally in front of the Department of Justice Saturday morning. Organizers are promoting the march on social media with #NRA2DOJ and details are available on the group's Facebook event.
"We know that we are not safe," the group stated. "But we will not be intimidated into silence."
In the minute-long video that provoked the march, conservative talk-radio host Dana Loesch pushes the false narrative that protesters are violent, in an effort to encourage viewer support for the NRA and gun ownership. Loesch says U.S. media and protest organizers encourage demonstrators "to smash windows, burn cars, shutdown interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding..."
In response to the incendiary video, Tamika Mallory, co-president of the Women's March, wrote an open letter to NRA chief Wayne LaPierre, requesting a public apology and that the video be taken down:
"Recent actions by the NRA demonstrate not only a complete disregard for the lives of black and brown people in America—your fellow citizens—but appear to be a direct endorsement of violence against these citizens exercising their constitutional right to protest….
The advertisement released by the NRA is a direct attack on people of color, progressives and anyone who exercises their First Amendment right to protest. At a time when our nation is seeing a rise in racially charged incidents and violence motivated by hate speech, it is unconscionable for a powerful organization like yours to unashamedly peddle an 'us versus them' narrative. You are calling for our grassroots, nonviolent resistance movement to be met with violence."
The NRA responded three days later, with a longer video titled "We Don't Apologize For Telling the Truth," starring NRA TV Live host Grant Stinchfield. In the response video, Stinchfield repeatedly attacks the "lying media" and "violent left," and addresses Mallory directly. "I'm talking to you Tamika Mallory," he says, dismissing her concerns, and those of activists and politicians who have publicly condemned the Loesch video.
As Common Dreams previously reported, reactions to the inital video were swift and critical.